John Collins Traded to Utah Jazz || NBA Trades

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins has been the target of trade rumours for years and is now on the move. The Utah Jazz's front court will be bolstered with the addition of John Collins, a 25-year-old power forward acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

John Collins traded to Jazz to finally end NBA's longest-running rumor -
John Collins (Credit - NBAofficial)

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks have finalised a transaction that would send Collins to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Rudy Gay and a future second-round draft selection.

During the Hoop Collective live show, ESPN's Brian Windhorst revealed that the front staff was "under a mandate" to avoid the luxury tax.

John Collins. NBA Rumors: Hawks Tried To Trade John Collins To Jazz
John Collins (Credit - NBAofficial)

The 25-year-old found himself in a similar situation as the off season began in earnest. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, Atlanta "will continue to explore trade scenarios" with him at the helm.

Collins has spent most of his Hawks career in the midst of hypothetical contracts, and his five-year, $125 million agreement in 2021 did little to stop the talk.

The Hawks had to trade Collins sooner or later. Over time, it became evident that he wasn't a good match for this team, and his worth was dwindling.

Adam Silver & John Collins. Atlanta Hawks officially announce signing of first round pick John Collins  - Peachtree Hoops
Adam Silver (Left) John Collins (Right) (Credit - NBAofficial)

Collins was the No. 19 overall choice out of Wake Forest in the 2017 NBA draft, joining Donovan Mitchell and Lauri Markkanen in the same class. He enjoyed early success with the Hawks, improving his points per game in each of his first three seasons. In his third season, he looked to be on the edge of stardom, averaging 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 58.3% from the field and 40.1% from 3-point range – while playing in only 41 games.

However, his contribution to the Hawks' offence has dwindled in succeeding seasons, with his scoring average falling in each of the last three seasons as his use has dwindled. While he is an effective field shooter overall (55.1 FG% for his career, never falling below 50.8), he was only 29.2% on 3s this season.

The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder has also been prone to injuries throughout his career, with just his rookie and sixth seasons seeing him reach the 70-game mark.

Utah was expected to have roughly $40 million in salary cap space this season, which would be enough to absorb and handle his $25.34 million contract for the 2023-24 season. As a result, the front office duo of Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik saw an opportunity to add a talented player they see as a potential rehabilitation project for a low cost — a player who wasn't going to be in their rotation anyway, plus a second-round pick that's all but irrelevant with the haul of future first-round picks they have.

In 2022-23, the 6'9" forward had one of his worst seasons. He had his lowest scoring and rebounding averages since his freshman season, averaging 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds. He also shot 50.8 per cent overall and 29.2 per cent from outside the arc, both of which were much lower than his career averages (55.1 and 35.6, respectively).

However, because Walker Kessler is a more conventional big man in the mould of Capela and Okongwu, the Jazz may have the same issues as the Hawks. Collin Sexton, on the other hand, isn't the type of natural playmaker who can readily maximise Collins' worth off the ball.

Nonetheless, Utah certainly has a purpose for him after completing this trade.

Cover Credit - NBAofficial

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